Cooking Up a Taste of Italy: The Very Best Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Naples has long been on the map as the place to go to taste “real” pizza. Back in 1889, Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples and asked for the finest pizza maker. The pizzaiolo offered her three types of Neapolitan pizza.

It was the one topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil that took her fancy, and so the pizza Margherita was born. But it wasn’t until mass migration from the south of Italy to the United States began at the beginning of the 20th century, that America got its hands on the authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe.

History aside, if you’re looking to cook up an authentic-tasting pizza, then this guide on how to make Neapolitan pizza is exactly what you need to make Neapolitan pizza dough fit for a queen. 

Shaping pizza dough with hands

Related: Best Pizza Dough Recipe for Your New Outdoor Pizza Oven

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The Very Best Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Once you’ve tried homemade Neapolitan pizza, there’s no going back. The pizza base has a unique pillowy and chewy feel to it and the slightly charred bubbles give it a rustic look.

The great thing about making dough for Neapolitan pizza is just how simple it is.

All it takes is four ingredients: 

  • 20 oz of Italian-style “00” bread flour
  • 0.4 oz of fine sea salt
  • 0.3 oz of instant yeast
  • 13 oz of water

How to Make Neapolitan Pizza Dough

making pizza dough

One of the most common mistakes people make when making pizza dough is they add yeast too soon. The more contact the yeast has with the salt, the more the yeast cells get damaged, and this will ruin the fermentation process.

So first of all, you want to make sure your water is at around 20 degrees C. The temperature will increase when you start to knead the dough so it shouldn’t be too hot. Put your water in a large mixing bowl and dissolve the salt into the water.

Now you can start adding the flour little by little. It’s important to work the mixture through with your hands. Once you get about halfway, you can add the yeast to the mix and then finish off by adding the rest of the flour.

Once the dough is more solid and there’s no dry flour at the bottom of the bowl, you can move your dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface. Now you can knead the bowl for about 15-20 minutes until you get a smooth dough ball.

Now put your dough bowl back into the bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Leave it to rise at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Remove your dough ball and put it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into four balls. You need to put each ball into its own airtight container. You can use a deli container or a zipper-lock freezer bag. Put them in the refrigerator and leave them to rise for 2-4 days.

Now that your Neapolitan pizza dough is ready, remove it from the refrigerator and be sure to leave it to rest at room temperature for a minimum of 2 hours before baking in your pizza oven.

Pizza Margherita

How to Make the Best Neapolitan Pizza

Now that you’ve followed our Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, all you need to do is decide what toppings you want on your pizza and you’re ready to bake. Homemade Neapolitan pizza is easy to make. Perhaps the most important part of making delicious pizza is the oven.

If you want to find out more about amazing backyard cooking and pizza ovens, then feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

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